A book looking at the often under-valued and forgotten role of the milkman during the two world wars has been written by an author in Hillingdon.
Britain’s Wartime Milkmen has been penned by Tom Phelps and gives a fascinating insight into the role played by the humble milkie during the First and Second World Wars.
Mr Phelps worked for 30 years in the dairy industry and collected a mass of images during that time, many of which are used in his book.
The retired granddad, from Green Lane, said his interest in the topic started when he joined Unigate in 1970. He was responsible for training new staff where older milkmen would teach the new kids on the block.
Mr Phelps said: “I was meeting these men who were perhaps working in the 1930s, they were young boys who remembered the day of the milk pram.
“I’d listen to these old chaps tell their stories about the trade during the Great War and 1920s and became interested.”
In another position with the company he would go on to meet milkmen who had served for 40 years or more and listen to what work was like in the 1920s and '30s.
The book also looks at the delivery of milk going from the yoke and pail used during the reign of Queen Victoria, to the milk perambulators popular during the First World War, the horse and cart, and finally to the electric milk float which rose to prominence towards the end and after the Second World War.
The book comes out on March 5, and is tying in with the 70th anniversary VE Day Celebrations which will take place on May 8. It costs £9.99 and is available from all good bookshops, online retailers or direct from the publishers at www.chaplinbooks.com.